Apart from the lack of wheel-to-wheel action at the Azerbaijan GP, the world championship battle is interesting to say the least.
Sergio Perez is only 6 points behind his team-mate Max Verstappen after the Mexican’s double victory in the sprint race and the Grand Prix.
Red Bull promises not to impose team orders.
“As long as it doesn’t hurt the team, they can play against each other,” says director Christian Horner.
“You saw they were close to the wall, they even touched it, so they were giving it their all and we didn’t interfere. Even though we reminded them before the race what happened to us in 2018 (Verstappen and accident between ricciardo)).”
“We had some cold sweats but as long as we don’t stupidly lose the race, that they stay clear among themselves if they have to overtake each other, we will not interfere.”
Verstappen lost his lead due to the safety car, but Pérez was free to keep pushing.
“Checo asked if he could slow down,” Dr Helmut Marko explains, “But Max should have done it too, so we said no. We let him go at full speed, so we had the last laps in terms of pace.”
What worries Marco elsewhere.
“What was dangerous for us was that Leclerc and Alonso managed to do the same as us in the last six to eight laps. We had to pray to make sure that nothing happens to our two riders at the end of the race. , who wanted the best of everything, especially Max.”
In the end, it was George Russell who took the extra point for fastest lap after a late switch to softs.
“With that you have no chance, but we let them go all the way anyway. That’s the pace we had in the end. One-two and first and third in the sprint, we’re very happy Max. Unlucky with the safety car And couldn’t get a good set-up, which cost him a lot of time, so he couldn’t get the most out of the car like Checo.”
“Big cheers to Checo, he was quick from the start and made no mistakes, it was a great race.”
Like Horner, Marko also does not want to interfere in the fight for the riders’ title.
“We are in a privileged position because Alonso, Leclerc and the two Mercedes drivers are fighting for third place. There is constant back and forth between them, which is why our lead is quite good. But there are still 19 races to go.” And we are not thinking about the team order.”
Christian Horner also takes a good look at this distribution of points.
“Well, at the moment it’s the two of them for the title. There’s a slight gap with the rest of the field, but there are still 19 races and five sprint races to go. So there’s a huge amount of races and different circuits to ride.” A whole variety of, so it can go back and forth between the two. Reliability will be an important factor. And what we’re more focused on right now is creating a buffer with our two riders. ,
“Because when we get back to Europe, I’m sure there will be some big developments. Of course, we’ve got reduced growth potential this year, so our focus is right there – trying to make a difference.”
“After four races they have six points between them, with others a lot more, so we are going according to plan. So we have to manage our drivers. They both want to win, so they are employed by the team. And I think what happens next will depend on what they do on the track. They were free to race in Baku and they will continue to do so as long as they don’t mess up!”